Renae in studio with a twin lens camera.
Some writers come to believe that if they only had a discernible "style" everything would fall into place and they would become successful and revered. But really, writing is about telling the story you'd like to tell without distracting the reader with undue/unneeded decoration or complexity. A reader usually looks for a lack of ambiguity and a minimum of unnecessary augmentation in order to enjoy the flow of an article or book. As well as the flow of the sentences themselves.
Most often the writers that readers enjoy are the ones who put as few stylistic twists into the writing and deliver both interesting sentences and simple to understand sentences. The fewer flourishes that take the reader's mind out of the story the more successfully the reader can submerge, happily, into the rhythm and imaginative unfolding of the story.
In photography we've collectively come to conclusions about things that move us away from musing about the content of an image and, instead, make us think about the mechanics of making of an image. Stylistic embellishments brought about by techniques but without adding meaning. In this category, historically, are contrivances such as fisheye lens perspectives, extreme telephoto compression, obvious color filters, "tromboning" one's zoom lens, obviously added "film" grain, the odd focus shifts caused by mis-used tilt/shift lenses, and the heavy handed use of high dynamic range imagery and various soft focus filters. Just to name a few.
I regard a labored and non-intuitive point of view as a stylistic exercise that also removes the power and importance of the photographic story from an image and instead offers a "trick" to provide a bit of temporary pizzazz to an image. An attempt to distance the image in question from others in the same genre. But I find super low viewpoints, captured from flat on the floor, or from a kneeling position, to be a contrivance that provides all the power (and the painful withdrawal symptoms) of a sugar high.
When we take and share photographs it seems that we say, "Here is how I view my world, or this part of my world, and now I'm sharing it with you." But nearly all of my engagements with the subjects in my orbit are done from the perspective of a camera floating more or less between 5 feet and four inches and five feet and eight inches from the ground. It's different if I'm sitting down.
I've tried from time to time to work a forced low angle shot into my working repertoire (but never my personal work) and have never had a client use the low angle shot. And I found myself relieved by the client's editing as the low angle shots never appealed to me either. Not nearly as much as a shot, well conceived and captured, from my own eye level.
In the world of writing editors and publishers are always (strongly) suggesting: "Write what you know."
By the same token I find myself only willing to make photographs that seem natural to me because my camera and I are: "Photographing what we know." And I know what my world constantly reflects back to me as I walk through it at upright.
But it's not just the eye-level point of view that works as a formal framework for me, it's also my desire to see vertical lines properly rendered and specific compositions respected. Any contrived technique or forced perspective that requires me to turn on my conscious thought and change my consistent approach to photographing inevitably ends up distancing me from the resulting photograph and, eventually dismissing it.
Because of this I seem immune from the charms of ultra-wide angle lenses. I can never figure out what do do with all the stuff on the top, bottom and sides of the frame. Anything wider than 20mms and I'm lost.
But, of course this proclivity of mine should be obvious since I've had a life long love affair with portraits. A shift up or down from the eye level of the subject makes for a shift in how we perceive the subject to a very great degree. It's a shifting of the balance of power. My preference is for the neutrality of camera height to subject eye level. I want to allow the personality and character of the subject to be the story they tell instead of editorializing with various tricks. That I would carry along the same sensibility to documenting graffiti, urban art, street photos and other ephemerata seems logical; comfortable.
To others the temptation to crouch, kneel or climb a high ladder in the service of their own vision might be more natural and even an ingrained way of experimenting with photographs and I'm not against it. But I can probably count on the fingers of one hand how many times I've enjoyed looking at a photograph that's been taken from a very low or very high point of view. Maybe that speaks more to the rigidity of my own practice than anything else.
Just my counterpoint.